November 17, 2008
 

 

We didn' get much in the way of interest or commentary on the proposed plan to institute an album analysis feature. Of course, I presented Black and Blue by The Rolling Stones, not their best effort by any stretch. However, it is still a good album and one not to be ignored by Stones fans. There are some good tracks in there. Regardless, I'm leaving the link up for a couple more posts AND I'm including an in-depth and well thought out fan analysis that was sent to us by TAP reader, Michael D so that you can get an idea of what can be included in this potential feature.

Black and Blue

Without a doubt the guiltiest pleasure in the Stones catalog. Why? For an album with guests galore, a pair of AOR tunes, a pair of jams turned into songs and little involvement or input from Keith, it’s still a good listen. Much is made of this being Woody’s 1st album with the Stones, but in reality he was still auditioning during it’s recording. In addition to Ronnie, Mick was auditioning Muscle Shoals session guitarist, Wayne Perkins (who contributed much of the lead guitar on Catch a Fire by Bob Marley & the Wailers) and blues guitarist Harvey Mandel. Perkins contributes more guitar on the record than Woody does and more than likely Keith as well.

Picking up where It’s Only Rock n’ Roll’s album closing “Fingerprint File” left off, “Hot Stuff” is little more than a jam session with improvised lyrics. In some ways, it’s the announcement that Keith has given up the reins and Mick is now in the driver’s seat. Hardly a signature Keith riff, the clean-chorused and funky “Hot Stuff” riff is still an instant hook. Mandel’s leads are off the map and Wyman’s bass-line is deep in the pocket. It’s easy to see Mick chicken-strutting all over this one and it’s hard not to join him.

After Exile on Main Street every record the Stones have put out contains one or two. The Stones trying to sound like the Stones” songs. “Hand Of Fate” is a prime example. Almost a classic riff, but not quite. “Hand Of Fate" and the closer, “Crazy Mama”  make up the filler on Black and Blue by default when compared to the other tracks breaking new ground on this record.

For their first foray into Reggae, “Cherry Oh Baby”, Charley locks into the One-Drop on the 1 & 3 perfectly. No mean feat as this rhythm is what usually confuses the hell out of Rock drummers. Under Keith’s influence (No pun intended), every time the Stones have done a Reggae tune it’s come across as authentic.

Mick on Piano? Keith on Fender Rhodes? Billy Preston on Synth? Could this be the Stones’ stab at Prog-Rock? Thankfully, no.“ Memory Motel” is the true jewel of Black and Blue. Mick’s lyrics and singing make us believe that we’re hearing a true story directly from the heart or, better yet, from the bar stool. If this is instead a story of loss and regret shared over a few pints, then Keith is the sympathetic listener reminding Mick that “She’s got a mind of her own”. With a hooks in the verse, bridge, and especially the chorus, it’s no wonder that “Memory Motel” remained a fan favorite even though it took the Stones over 20 years to revive it on tour.

Side Two opens with the second jam on the record, “Hey Negrita”. Whether to keep up the illusion of “The Glimmer Twins” or simply for financial reasons, Mick and Keith’s practice of not crediting co-writers is slightly acknowledged with (Inspiration by Ron Wood). Ronnie’s slinky, Afro-Cuban, funk riff is indeed inspiring and is enough to keep this second Black and Blue jam a worthy addition to the record.

Another “Inspiration”, this time by Billy Preston, “Melody’s laid back piano strut doesn’t inspire as much as “Hey Negrita” and comes of more as novelty or pastiche then anything else.

Its status as a light-rock-Musak classic not withstanding, “Fool To Cry” is still worthy of its release as a single, though not the lead single which it was. Falling asleep in Germany while “Fool To Cry” makes Keith’s regard for the song pretty clear. Still, the tale of a man who is troubled by his mistress and daughter on the “poor side of town” could only be made heartbreaking and believable by Jagger, who had more than a few mistresses.

It’s also worth noting that “Slave” and “Worried About You” from Tattoo You were recorded for Black and Blue as well. I imagine they were cut simply because “Slave” would’ve been another jam and “Worried” would have been another ballad, but both have been part have been a part of the Stones live sets more than most of the material on Black and Blue.

So, for the Rolling Stones in the late seventies/early eighties, Black and Blue runs right in the middle of the pack. Better than Emotional Rescue and Undercover, but not on par with Some Girls or Tattoo You. If it leans either way though, it’s towards the latter albums. It shouldn’t rate in any Stones fan’s Top 5 but would be a respectable choice in a top 10.

So...

Give me your ideas and such on this plan of an ongoing publishable project.  Good idea or bad?  Also, if you’re ready to jump in…it’s all about Black and Blue.  Everything goes!

The GFR Poll has been slow to get off to a good strat but it does have fans. We're hoping that it picks up a bit but. like some of our earlier Polls, sometimes they don't, I'm going to see what album you thought was the best thing that Grand Funk Railroad issued. Here's what makes this one so much fun: Grand Funk went from an album-oriented band to a singles-oriented band...and then tried to get back to AOR (Album Oriented Rock). So there's plenty to choose from. Grand Funk, like many bands, stylistically changed as the years went by and people will have an opinion on which version of the band said it the best. Even the transitional album, We're An American Band, moved between the two forms of the band interchangeably. On one track, you had "Creepin'" and on another, the popular title cut, "We're an American Band." I don't really expect this one to be a barn-burner participation but we'll see. So, send in your votes for the Best of Grand Funk Railroad. We'll post results on Monday, the 24th...just before Turkey Day.

Reviews today include the soundtrack for the film, Gonzo with a Various Artists lineup, and the Live 2-disc album called Live at Newport from Christian Scott, offering both CD and DVD documents of the 2008 event.

Back on Wednesday.

For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! list (#11), I will be posting a letter each post until exhausted (there were only 17 21 25 27 29 30 31 emails).  Some were only a few titles, some only one.  But there were more than a few that were massive and a few extended, well-detailed lists.  I’ll post them as I received them.  Today, I have a list of 10 albums with commentary. Thanks to Peter for his list:

01 Toad The Wet Sprocket - Fear
This would be my "Desert Island" CD and one of the few I have bought both as a cassette & cd.

02 The Tragically Hip - Live Between Us
All of their studio albums are great but this live cd captures their essence the best. Also my favorite track, Nautical Disaster, doesn't get any better than here.

03 They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
The album that hook to this great band. Another cassette/cd purchase

04 R.E.M.New Adventures In Hi-Fi
Love the IRS years but this overlooked album is my favorite of the Warner Brothers years. One of the best closing tracks with Electrolite.

05 Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Nothing quite like it. You either love it or hate it.

06 Skydiggers - Still Restless The Lost Tapes
A basically unknown Canadian group, this album showcases their talent and updates their original Restless album.

07 Better Than Ezra - Friction, Baby
Consider by many as a one hit wonder this New Orleans band has released many albums but their second is my favorite.

08 Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five
I love Ben Folds solo work but the Five's first album is the best.

09 Cracker - The Golden Age
Another overlooked band. Their song Big Dipper is a classic.

10 Eels - Daisies Of The Galaxy
First album of theirs I have bought and I never looked back.

We're going to keep the Best Album of ALL Time up for a long while as we continually update it. But I'll say this: The Beatles took the lead with not only The White Album but also the fact that they have been selected with two albums. Like The Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! run, which does not show signs of stopping (I'm still getting emails, which I have no problem with and encourage - Send Them In), I'm hoping that this new thing stays strong. Send in your selection (one only, please) for the album that is the ruler of all.

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.

 

 
 

 
   

Notes...

 

Bruce Springsteen will release his next album, Working on a Dream, on January 27. Columbia Records will issue the 12-track album with 2 extra bonus tracks. This album will mark his 24th release.

All American Rejects will have their upcoming album, When the World Comes Down, released on December 16 by DGC Records.  The album will be available in both a standard CD issue and a 2CD Deluxe Edition.  The Deluxe Edition will contain exclusive demos and bonus video content to round out the extra CD.

We have mentioned the upcoming Fall Out Boy album that is planned for December 16 several times.  The album, Folie A Deux, will be released as a standard CD album as well as a Special Deluxe 2LP coloured vinyl set.  The LP set will contain a bonus of a an exclusive 24” x 24” poster.  This is releasing from Fueled by Ramen Records (Island).

The new album by Saliva is slated for December 16.  It is called Cinco Diablo and is being released by Island Records.

There are several soundtracks coming on December 16Hans Zimmer and his score of the upcoming Ron Howard film, Frost/Nixon, is coming from Varese Sarabande.  The label will also release the Angelo Milli score for the Will Smith film, Seven Pounds (a film of mystery given the ‘not-telling’ nature of the trailer.  Concord Records will release a 2CD combined score/soundtrack for the upcoming David Fincher movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,  starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.  On the first disc is the complete film score (Alexandre Desplat) while the second disc sports a collection of 19 songs featuring tunes by The Platters, Louis Armstrong, and others.  Good films need good scores and soundtracks.  Let’s hope that these are good musical complements.

Universal Republic will release a DVD for Mika, planning the video for a December 16 released date.  The DVD, called Live Parc Des Princes Paris, will have 17 songs and include bonus content with an obligatory ‘making of’ documentary, and a video of “Lollipop,” as well as Live footage of “Grace Kelly.”

 

 

 
   

 
Review - Christian Scott - Live at Newport - CD/DVD
 

Christian Scott is a unique performer and that is revealed in several ways on this combination set of a CD and DVD. His playing is extraordinary and should be investigated by serious Jazz fans. Live at Newport is an amazing document of an emerging performer.

 

 

 

 

 
Review - Various Artists - Gonzo Film Soundtrack - CD
 

This Various Artists collection of music from the era of HST's greatest period of production, when Thompson's Gonzo persona was escalated to the Pop Culture of the '70s. Interspersed with snippets of HST vocal bites, this Gonzo collection complements the film and is a great piece to shelve alongside the DVD.

 

 

 

 
Band - Glasvegas - Glasgow, Scotland
 

Hailing from Scotland, Glasvegas, who has Coldplay and Interpol as their musical mentor (and who has an album coming on Columbia Records in January), is sure to be some good music for a lot of folks. I first heard of them on The Sound (100.3FM-LA) and have been intrigued since. Suffice it to say, I'm anxious to hear their full- length album. But until then, I hope that these selection of tracks posted on Myspace Music will give you an easy idea on what they sound like. I have to admit to being a bit perturbed for the truncated 'radio-edit' of "Geraldine" (already available via iTunes) but it should do enough to give you an idea of what you're getting. Have fun.

Website

 


 
     

 

 

 
     
     


 

 

   
 
     

 

Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
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Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

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"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
"...you best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)